Wednesday, January 6, 2010

NFA seeks more rice

By Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:44:00 01/05/2010

Filed Under: rice problem, Food, Economy and Business and Finance

THE National Food Authority (NFA) is seeking more rice than contracted for 2010 supply as the Philippines tries to secure rice reserves while world market supplies last.

Data from the NFA show that the agency wants a total of 455,189.26 tons in additional supply from six traders who won contracts at four tenders conducted for 2010 supply.

The grains authority wants 62,500 tons from the contracts from the Nov. 4 tender; 27,487.50 tons from the Dec. 1 tender; 118,563.175 tons from the Dec. 8 tender; and 146,638.592 tons from the Dec. 15 tender.

The Philippines filled the tender volume of 250,000 from its November 4 bidding but had to buy below target for the next three auctions held in December.

The Dec. 1 tender was for 600,000 tons but the NFA bought only 509,950 due to increased prices. For the Dec. 8 tender, also for 600,000, the NFA awarded contracts for only 474,252.70 tons.

For the Dec. 15 tender, the NFA awarded supplies for 586,554.37 tons, the highest among the three tenders for 600,000 tons. Vinafood2 got the single purchase contract for 146,638.59 tons.

Total awards have so far added up to 1.96 million tons, a little below the total tendered volume of 2.05 million tons.

If all the reorders are confirmed, the supply could actually go up to about 2.4 million tons.

Philippines Seeks to Buy 25% More Rice from Suppliers

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The Philippines asked suppliers to ship 25 percent more rice than contracted for purchases since November, an official said, as the nation seeks to avert food shortages after storms damaged last year’s harvests.

The state-run National Food Authority, which has bought about 1.8 million metric tons of the grain since November for delivery this year, used its options to order an additional 450,000 tons, Marketing Director Romeo Jimenez said today.

“We haven’t discussed any new tender because of the re- order,” Jimenez said in a phone interview from Manila. The country may secure as much as 2.25 million tons if suppliers agree to sell at prices settled in the last quarter, he said. The volume is 7.4 percent of this year’s global trade forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at 30.35 million tons.

Rice prices have gained 21 percent in the past six months as storms damaged 1.3 million tons of crops in the Philippines and on concern India, the second-biggest grower, may become a net buyer this year. Companies that had won supply contracts from the National Food Authority may not agree to sell the additional volumes as prices have since climbed, forcing the Philippines to return to the market, Rakesh Singh, a trader at New Delhi-based Emmsons International Ltd., said by phone today.

“If that happens, they will be ready for another tender” of 500,000 tons, he said.

March-delivery futures advanced as much as 2.6 percent to $15.28 per 100 pounds on the Chicago Board of Trade and traded at $15.2 at 6:45 p.m. Singapore time. Prices surged to a record in 2008 as concerns over shortages prompted exporters including Vietnam and India to curb supplies, sparking food price riots from Haiti to Egypt.

The Philippines raised its budget for the Dec. 15 tender 21 percent to 18.525 billion pesos ($403 million), after prices surged, allowing the government to buy 586,554 tons from offers that day, the biggest purchase of four tenders last quarter.

Aromatic new rice developed, named

A new rice variety that has good taste, texture and aroma has recently been developed and named, ready for application for intellectual property rights and distribution to farmers, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday.

The new grain, Taichung No. 194, was devised by Hsu Chih-sheng with a COA research farm in central Taiwan after 13 years of genetic engineering and modification, said Chen Jung-wu, director of the Taichung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station.

Hsu began his research in 1996, crossing Taigeng No. 9, a locally developed strain, with Indian basmati to produce a new strain named Zhong-geng-yu No. 10368.

Zhong-geng-yu No. 10368 had an aroma of purple yam, like that of Tainong No. 71, another locally modified variety that is very popular in Taiwan for its unique aroma.

Cuban efforts to reduce bulk food imports on track

* Consumable rice output at 300,000 tonnes

* Dried bean production tops 100,000 tonnes

* Government seeks to halve imports by 2013

HAVANA, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Cuban rice production jumped 44.6 percent, dried beans 9.6 percent and milk 10.8 percent in 2009 as a five-year government plan to boost output and reduce bulk food imports registered its first results.

Consumable rice production was 300,000 tonnes, beans 106,500 tonnes and milk 587 million liters, compared with 207,500 tonnes, 97,200 tonnes and 530 million liters respectively in 2008, the National Statistics office reported on its Web page (

The cash-strapped Cuban government has embarked on a program to cut import costs by increasing the island's food production and hopes to slash rice, bean and powdered milk imports -- staples of the Cuban diet -- 50 percent by 2013.

President Raul Castro, who took over for his older brother Fidel Castro in February 2008, has increased what the state pays for crops, decentralized agricultural decision-making and distribution and leased 50 percent of vacant state lands to 100,000 individuals and private and state cooperatives farms.

Cuba imported 567,000 tonnes of rice in 2008, most of it from Vietnam's state-run Northern Food Corp under preferential financial terms.

The Communist-run Caribbean island imported from various countries 246,000 tonnes of dried beans and 52,113 tonnes of powdered milk in 2008, according to government statistics.

Cuba spent $2.2 billion in 2008 to buy food, including $700 million for rice and beans combined and $250 million for powdered milk. It imports about 70 percent of its food.

Most land in Cuba remains in state hands, but private farmers and cooperatives own some 20 percent and produce more than 60 percent of the food.

The state controls the wholesale purchase and retail distribution of between 80 percent and 90 percent of all that is produced. (Reporting by Marc Frank; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)